BEVERLY HILLS—A video posted online of two exotic cars racing through residential streets at high speeds is causing concern for Beverly Hills residents’ safety.
The video, posted online on September 12, depicts a yellow Ferrari LaFerrari and a white Porsche 911 speeding down the 700 block of Walden Drive. The cars drive through stop signs and come close to hitting other cars. Scraping noises are heard as the car jerks over a dip in the road. At the end of the video, smoke is seen coming out of the back of the Ferrari as it pulls into the driveway. The incident occurred on the evening the video was posted, at about 6:45 p.m.
In an NBC Los Angeles report, independent video journalist Jacob Rogers describes what happened when he approached the house that the cars pulled into after the incident: “He said ‘I could kill you and get away with it.’…I told him ‘The press is allowed to be here, it’s a public street.’ I explained that’s how it works in America, and he said, ‘F*** America,’ and threw a cigarette at me.” The man who made the threat also reportedly punched Rogers’ camera as he was trying to hold it up.
No one was injured. Police are investigating the incident, but no arrests have been made because officers were not on the scene to observe any laws being violated, which is required in misdemeanors. The license plates on the cars are from the country of Qatar and the men who allegedly drove the cars in the video have claimed diplomatic immunity. Diplomatic immunity protects diplomats visiting from other countries from being prosecuted under U.S. law, because of an agreement between the two countries.
A statement from the U.S. State Department reads: “As officers were conducting their investigation, they were approached by an individual who indicated that the vehicles belonged to him and denied driving at a high rate of speed, running stop signs or driving recklessly.”
On the morning of September 17, the Beverly Hills Police Department had a press conference about the incident. Chief Dominick Rivetti said that the Ferrari in the video was found to be connected to Qatari Sheik Khalid Hamad Al-Thani, who has likely left the country. After speaking with the State Department and the Qatari consulate, it was determined that the sheik does not have diplomatic nor consular immunity.
Both of the cars seen in the video have reportedly disappeared from the driveway seen in the video. The drivers have still not been identified. A statement from Thursday’s press conference says, “[BHPD] officers are on the alert for the vehicles seen in the video, and are prepared to take enforcement action including issuing traffic citations, impounding the vehicles and arresting individuals when appropriate. We have stepped up enforcement for reckless activity in the neighborhood where the incident took place.” Witnesses are encouraged to call BHPD’s 24 hour tip-line at 310-288-2656, and anyone who has videos, photos or additional information can submit them to BHPDInfo@beverlyhills.org.